Since a 2001 7 inch split with Songs: Ohia, Nottingham's Emma Louise Niblett has been quietly releasing records on Canada's influential Secretely Canadian, as well as the great UK label Too Pure. With her forth album, This Fool Can Die Now, she has enlisted the help of a range of colaborators - most notably Bonnie Prince Billy, who provides vocals on single Kiss and three others.
Will Oldham's fingerprints are all over this record, in more ways than voice alone and with Steve Albini handling production duties the ingredients are here for a dark and dirty mix of gothic-death-country-rock. The powerful vocals and downbeat atmosphere makes for an engaging listen, with Kiss and Nevada dredging up an chilling majesty.
While songs likes Moon Lake and the Van Morrison cover Comfort You make the most of Niblett's powerful voice and the sparse-but-loud production technique, things do get a little tired towards the end - with Yummy and single Dinosaur Egg seeming like over-trodden territory.
It can feel like if Niblett could just stay away from Oldham and Albini bad influence, meet a nice guy and settle down things might brighten up considerably. Having said that, as 2005's return of The Wedding Present proved, a bit of personal strife can be exactly what keeps the creative juices flowing.